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February 3, 2021

Do I eat from your plate ? Think before commenting on my body.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.

Well, this is an everyday thing now.

I have been seeing this since childhood.
We used to be on the second floor for watching television or some random activity.
I must have been in 4th or 6th. The thinner, my age children used to be picked up and brought to the first floor, to sleep. While i used to be woken up. To walk down. Because people could not carry me. Well, for records, I was not as heavy that time, but was relatively heavier for the relatives.

Then, came the time, when I was healthier (actually healthier) than my school courterparts. Nevertheless pretty. I had blossomed earlier. While the other school children looked pale and malnutritioned. I remember, I was not a foody, I used to get beaten up for not eating the tiffin that was given. My mom used to take the pain to give 2 different hot meals given to the school just before my breaks before she went to work. She worked full time. All I can do today for my kid is to give her a tiffin in a hotcase. My mom was good at cooking and enjoyed making good food.

I used to hear, you are so pretty, had you been a little thinner, many boys would have persued you. And honestly I didnt care how many did. Barring a few who tried to get in touch and I was scared that I will be beaten up for even talking to boys. I portrayed myself as a snob. Easier. No or less attention.

Going to college, I was not allowed to be wearing any of the fashionable clothes. yes, I grew up in a conservative communist family. (I know that is paradoxical) My father is extremely protective. Despite that I did have a few eyes on me, because I didnt try as much to look great. I was still medium or small size. But i was not skinny.

That is when I took my weight very seriously and did everything. Aerobics, diet, not eating unnecessarily. I was staying with my maternal aunt and granny. My mother’s family came from Vidarbha (a region in Maharashtra), where in people there have small faces, thin bodies and a long nose. That was considered as a standard of beauty in my family too. Explains, why my dad married my mom. Though my mom was on the voluptuous side of that thin family. Being with my aunt, my maternal uncle and in fact every single person around kept comparing me, S, M size then to the XXS XXXS people on the house. There were continuous discussions on how I should be thinner. This echoed in my family whenever I went home. As a kid, you happen to listen to all this.

Then I got married to a thin person. Fine, I liked him, I got married. I didn’t know I had to match my size, shape, caste, earnings before getting married. I thought love was enough. And Love came from one’s heart, not bodies. Visibly, I was shorter and stouter than him. Every single person in that family had a say over my weight. Irrespective of the fact that it was a family of short, and fatter people. But then commenting was easy.

Aww, then I got in the best Design Institute in India. A place where being pretty is celebrated. I had a couple of roommates who termed me, that my ass was 2 feet wide. They are pretty looking gals and barring that incident and a few more things, they have been good to me and valued me being in their lives.

My aunt commented, I have started looking like them then, As fat and as mature. The same aunt now feels its ok to be fat, since her both kids are fatter to me today, despite without kids or marriage pressure yet. I did not have the exposure  to fashionable self expression yet.

Then another life changing or rather weight changing chapter was pregnancy. Throughout I was exercising, doing yoga, going for walks, name it I did it. Except Gymming though, since I didnt have the money and time combination right.
I was once returning via the Delhi airport. I was around eight month pregnant and hence could not really bend. My passport/ something fell. The security guard therein said, why don’t you reduce some weight, you will be able to pick things better. I was again in normal clothes. not in the so called show your tummy, you are preggers clothes. I felt bad, I told the guard, Bhaiyya, mein pregnant hoon. Brother, I am pregnant. He then apologized, but the scar remains.

I practiced Yoga till the last day to my delivery, and hence I could work till then and I was working again asap back from the hospital, yes, from the 6th day of my delivery, since then I have never taken a break. I maintained, got back to my earlier to pregnancy weight as soon as possible. I used to take walks of 1.5. to 2 hours daily with my baby in my hands, since no one really wanted to take care of the baby then. I went through a lot of work and lot of burnouts after that. I was neglected. Not only by myself but by husband too, who looked at me only as a machine working in the house and earning money.

And I still remember, one fine day, my child asthma came back, I could not climb the hill that day. and I had to return from the hillbase. The same hill that I literally trekked/hiked every day with my little one in hand. That is a whopping 5 year ago. But then taking in whatever medication possible, going through 7 – 8 doctors, treating the backache that came along, along with the mental stress that with separation anxiety. Today, maybe I am doing a little ok, but due to age, I face hormonal issues. That got into gaining weight and inability to exercise. I am adjusting to the changes in my life.

And then anyone just stands up and says – reduce your weight and everything will be ok.

No, its not that simple. I cannot give up work, my everyday routine to just do that. I have seen a few success stories who did that and are either unemployed right now or are being funded by someone.
I have to support my family single-handedly. And I do not have a family background of being skinny. Which you may have. And congratulations for it. But it does not guarantee you being healthy either! And thanks for being concerned about my health. No thank you!

Most of the time, these harmless comments are taken as a joke or posed as a joke. Sometimes it is a serious concern too, may be because not everyone understands human anatomy and physiology ass well enough and their only source to knowledge is marketing and advertisements they are exposed to. I don’t happen to take them seriously always. But you know what, those comments hurt. They hurt every single time. I just need to react according to the social group present at that moment and blurt out crying. But it hurts. That every single morsel of food after that seems like a crime after that. Until someone else says something.

I see my kid growing up. I have an everyday sports class for my kid. And I know my kid is has a similar structure. People even jump ahead to say, oho, your kid is so fat, ask her to eat less. Should I say, oho, your kid is so thin, don’t you have the resources to feed your kids ?
Or may be ask people depending on the person, oho, you are short, why don’t you play baseball, become a little taller. Oho, you are dark why don’t you use some fairness cream, become a little fairer ? Oh, you are bald, why don’t your use some creams and get hair on your head.

And how bout this ? Oho, your intellectual capacity is a problem, why don’t you consume some Brahmi (an ayurvedic herb) and get a little wiser ?

Wiser enough to understand that everyone goes through a different state of mind, and please be kind ? Is that too much to ask ?

Oh yes, I don’t need to care what the world thinks about me, my weight, my looks whatever. So that the world can stand up say I am a snob. That looks like a good plan !

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